Kenyan BBC Journalist Peter Mwangangi has taken his fans back to the day he was broke and living in a shack.

He wrote, “I used to live here as a student at Daystar University about 10 years ago. Ironically, though my room was called River Rufiji, water shortage was the order of the day!”

“And so due to the many challenges we had, we used to refer to the place as ‘Hostile B’ (Real name is Hostel B, an off-campus accommodation in Athi River).”

He continued, “We also had frequent power blackouts, some of them self-imposed (when we would fight over who would cook with the electric coil, because it would drop whenever two people plugged in at the same time).”

Peter added, “Rent was Sh 2,500, but it was a lot at the time and I rarely made the payment on time – despite living with a comrade – so we got used to the landlord locking us out when we defaulted.”

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As such, Peter and his roommate had to develop coping and survival mechanisms.

“We developed some survival tactics. We made friends with the caretaker to a point she sympathized with our situation (and put her job on the line).

So at some point she gave us the extra padlock and keys to lock the room ourselves whenever she knew the landlord would visit. The landlord would find two padlocks on our room & get the impression that we were locked out! May God BLESS that caretaker wherever she is!”

shack peter_mwangangi6The journalist said he visited his old neigbourhood and met some of his neighbours.

“So this year I went back to see the place. Such a humbling experience. God has blessed me beyond measure, more than I could dream of while struggling at this hostel. I met my former neighbours Sheila and Hellen, they still live here. Their businesses and families have continued to grow. Happy reunion…”

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Peter did not forget to big up his mama mboga whose generosity ensured they did not sleep hungry.

“A biiig shootout to Mama Kasilanda (Mama Mboga), she used to sell us vegetables on credit. We defaulted so much until I graduated and left without paying her ‘deni’. I also paid her a visit and settled that! Mama wa maana sana…”

Check out the photos of the neighbourhood.

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